The Office Candy Dish

At our office building, we have the only office with an actual window, and that’s the owner/president’s office. Inside this not often occupied office (he’s been mostly retired for several years and comes in a few days a week) is a small wicker bowl. This wicker bowl is a frequent stopping point for everyone in the office. Why? It’s the office candy dish, of course.

Technically, there’s two candy dishes. One’s a crystal bowl that’s always full of plain M&Ms. It will always be filled with M&Ms for the foreseeable future. S0 that one’s mostly out of the discussion.

The wicker bowl is the variety bowl. It usually gets topped off from a bag of candy in the drawer underneath it. So you wind up having a variety of different candies in this dish, usually of a chocolate bar persuasion. The most common source bag is one of those bulk store fun-sized candy bar grab bags. The one that we usually get has Butterfingers, Milky Way (normal and dark), Baby Ruth, Snickers, Three Musketeers, and Twix.

After observing the dish empty and refill oh so many times, you start noticing patterns that develop. There’s a hierarchy of preference to the candy in the dish, and people WILL root out what they want.

For instance, the guaranteed first thing to vanish in the bowl is Twix. They’re gone within an hour of pouring a refill. The combination of cookie crunch, caramel, and chocolate seems irresistible to my coworkers. Well, and me too, I suppose.

Next is the Milky Ways. Regular and dark both go down quickly. Not as fast as the Twix – you’re likely to still get some in the afternoon or the next day. But they’re a crowdpleaser and go very, very quickly.

Once these items are gone, then the choices people make become more interesting. Most people choose Milky Ways over Snickers or Three Musketeers because it seems to be a “just right” proposition. You might not like peanuts, but you do like nougat and caramel. Bingo, Milky Way. You want more than just nougat in your candy bar. Milky Way comes to the rescue again. I wonder what Mars’ exact breakdowns are for each product and what one really is more popular than the other.

When the Milky Ways are all gone, most people go for either the Snickers or Three Musketeers. They seem to survive at similar rates, but both of these tend to clear out before people start taking the Baby Ruths. Baby Ruth is not unlike a Snickers. It’s chocolate with nougat, caramel binding, and peanuts. But the nougat isn’t the same as Snickers’ nougat – it’s whiter and a different texture. It also tends to use larger peanut bits for a nuttier crunch than the Snickers’ finely diced nuts. Plus, it’s just not as well known as the other two.

But when you get down to it, after all of these are gone, you’re left with a pile of Butterfingers. Nobody in our office seems to like Butterfingers as a primary choice, and the numbers of them only seem to dwindle once all of the other candy is gone. Clearly the office is prejudiced against these things that Bart Simpson loves so dearly. I’d wager the reason for this is because of its too crunchy nature and its tendency to stick to your teeth. The toffee-like Butterfinger is not a convenient candy bar to eat, and it’s not as appealing as other peanut butter candy, like Reese’s peanut butter cups. Everybody else prefers something over these lonely candies, resulting in a dish that is full of nothing but Butterfingers.

One by one, these lonely Butterfingers are slowly picked up, all of them being chosen last over the other candies like some kind of schoolyard game. I’d almost feel sorry for them, except I realize they’re candy and don’t have feelings.

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